|Enhance policy-matching and pursue solid progress in economic and trade cooperation Address at Chinese New Year Gala Dinner|
Honorable Mr. Kadilar, Chairman of CITAM
Honorable Madame Cansen, Chairman of TUSIAD
All entrepreneurs and friends,
Ladies and gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to thank CITAM and TUSIAD for inviting my wife and me to attend tonight's gala dinner. Please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy to Turkey, to express heart-felt thanks and deep respect to the above two organizations for their positive efforts for and contribution to the development of China-Turkey economic and trade ties.
The Spring Festival is the most important traditional festival in China. It is a festival for the nature, predicting the recovery of all beings. It is a festival for the family, implying deep kinship and friendship. It is also a festival for the world, becoming more and more globalized with China and the Chinese going global. This year marks the Year of Monkey on the Chinese Lunar Calendar. Monkey is an auspicious (ɔ:'spɪʃəs吉祥) animal in the eyes of the Chinese, representing vigorous, smart and enterprising features. The Turkish high-level officials offered blessings to the Chinese people around the eve of the Spring Festival. Tonight, the entrepreneurs from both China and Turkey gather here for a happy celebration of the Spring Festival. All these made my wife and I feel the strong festival spirit in Turkey, thus making this a very special Spring Festival for us. My wife and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the entrepreneurs and friends at present a lucky Year of Monkey, a happy family, a prosperous undertaking and a healthy body.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The past Year of Sheep witnessed bilateral relationship between China and Turkey going through an important historical period and mounting a new step, with care and efforts from leaders of both countries. Bilateral political relationship advanced steadily. High-level leaders exchanged visits frequently. President Xi Jinping and President Erdogan met twice, which marked a record-breaking meeting frequency in only one year. Economic and trade cooperation has gained constant progress and new growth points, extending cooperation to areas beyond trade and infrastructure, such as finance, agriculture, new energy and E-commerce. People-to-people exchanges become closer, deepening understanding towards each other. The natural beauty, historical sites, and good shopping environment attract more and more Chinese tourists to Turkey.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We'll have a fresh start for the year ahead. Today marks the 24th day of the Year of Monkey. I believe that all friends at present, just like me, share full expectation for even bigger progress of China-Turkey relationship in the new year.
As G20 Summit ends in Antalya, it carries on in China. In this September, G20 leaders will gather again alongside the picturesque West Lake of Hangzhou City and discuss an important topic of international governance, that is to say, how to build an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive global economy. On this significant multilateral platform, the Chinese side will have an opportunity to have close communication, coordination and cooperation with the Turkish side, as a member of Troika. Both sides will make joint efforts for the success of 2016 G20 Summit.
In 2015, China and Turkey have reached consensus on establishing a Deputy-Prime-Minister-Level Intergovernmental Cooperation Committee. This marks an unprecedented high-level cooperation mechanism between the two sides. Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang and his Turkish counterpart Mehmet Simsek are co-chair of the Committee. Last week, H.E. Simsek went to China to attend the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting and met with Vice Premier Wang Yang. This is the first matching-up between the two co-chairs. They exchanged in-depth views over how to make good use of the Cooperation mechanism and emphasized that both sides will carry out, one by one, important consensus reached by the Presidents of the two countries.
2016 marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Turkey. The two countries will hold series of commemorative events. For the past 45 years, bilateral relationship charted an unusual course and scored historical achievements. At present, both countries face a historical opportunity of national rejuvenation and usher in a broad picture for bilateral cooperation, with even more to achieve. Both sides could take the opportunity of the 45th anniversary to further promote mutual visits and people-to-people exchanges, enhance mutual understanding, expand consensus, initiate major economic and trade projects when time is ripe and inject new vigor into bilateral relations.
During the G20 Summit at Antalya, the presidents of the two countries witnessed the signing of the strategic MOU on Jointly Building "the Belt and Road", which provides important policy support for bilateral cooperation. Both sides could use platforms such as Silk Road Fund and AIIB to innovate cooperation channels and models, enhance inter-connectivity, increase production capacity cooperation, promote people-to-people exchanges, and realize common development and prosperity. This year marks the opening year for implementing the MOU. Both sides should catch the opportunity to carry out practical cooperation.
Right now, China has become the 3rd trade partner, 2nd import origin country, and 19th export market for Turkey. Economic and trade cooperation play a role of ballast stone in bilateral relations. High-speed railway and new energy projects become new cooperation priority with great potential. Some major projects are under negotiation. I hope they could make solid progress this year. The entry of Chinese enterprises into Turkey's financial business and investment field has attracted wide attention. Last year, ICBC acquired Turkey's Tekstil Bank. Bank of China also looks forward to making major investment in Turkey recently. Kumport was successfully acquired by an entity formed by 3 strong Chinese enterprises.
The relationship between two countries is based on the affection between the two peoples. China and Turkey are both ancient civilizations. The two peoples created splendid civilization and admire the deep culture and famous historical sites of each other. Turkey has become a more and more popular destination among Chinese tourists. In 2015, Chinese tourists to Turkey scored 314, 000 person times, at an increase of 57% compared to the same period of the previous year. In 2016, we will promote people-to-people exchanges and raise the awareness of Turkish friends on China and Chinese culture by attending Antalya Gardening Expo and hosting events such as the Week of Chinese Films and Nowruz Reception, inviting TRT to shoot documentary in China, inviting Turkish think tanks, journalists and students to visit China, and holding "China in my mind" Painting Competition.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Now, I would like to brief you on China's economy, to which all of you might pay great attention. For the past 30 years, China's economy kept a two-digit growth and created "China Miracle". Last year, China's GDP growth was lowered to 6.9%. However, the economic growth is based on a GDP total of 10 trillion US dollars. Thus, the absolute increase amount is 700 billion US dollars. A country with a GDP scale of 700 billion US dollars could boast the twentieth place among global economies. Therefore, even with a GDP growth rate at around 7%, China is still among the top tier in the world, be it for GDP growth or GDP total. China's economy accounts for 15% of the global economy, contributes to a quarter of the global economic growth and remains the most important growth engine for the world. Recently, China's economy indeed faced some downward pressure with fluctuations in its foreign exchange rate and stock market, but this should not be viewed apart from the global economic environment. Generally speaking, the basics of China's economy towards a positive long-term direction haven't changed. Fundamental features of China's economy such as good resilience, full potential and big adjustment space, haven't changed. Good foundation and conditions upholding the sustainable growth of China's economy haven't changed. The progress of economic restructuring hasn't changed.
Moreover, we should also see that the quality of China's economy keeps improving through deepening internal reform and opening-up. Investment, export and consumption compose the troika of China's economic growth. In 2015, consumption contributes to 66% of the economic growth, marking a significant increase. China's economy scored achievement and improvement while maintaining its stability and made positive progress in economic restructuring. Recently, the Chinese Government mapped out the "13th Five-year Plan" and raised the concept of achieving innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development. This reflects China's development guideline and confidence, signifies an in-depth reform affecting the overall development of China, and provides ground support for long-term economic stability and development. During the "13th Five-year Plan" period, the Chinese Government has both confidence and capability to maintain a mid-high level economic growth at around 7%, to sustain China's high contribution to global economic growth, and to continue offering development opportunities to all other countries.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I hope that, in the Year of Golden Monday, China and Turkey will carry on high-level exchanges, consolidate political mutual trust, deepen all-round practical cooperation, encourage bilateral relations to develop on a higher level, better serve mutual benefit and win-win cooperation and bring more benefit to the two countries and two peoples.
Wish everyone a beautiful night!